Sunday, September 12, 2010

Writers of the Future 26 and The Exile Reviews

L RON HUBBARD PRESENTS WRITERS OF THE FUTURE, VOLUME XXVI, edited by K.D. Wentworth, Galaxy Press, $7.99, 464 pages, ISBN: 9781592128471, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

One of the highlights of the end of Summer is the receipt of the new WOTF volume. It, at least to me, represents a new beginning of a group of talent as they present the birth of their future to the rest of the world. It is a time of harvesting their products and preparation for the winter crops to be sown. Each writer and artist represented herein are giving us the fruits of their labors and giving us a glimpse of the future seeds they are sowing.

This year’s collection is another vast array of topics and styles. I once thought it would be a lot of fun to be a judge, but it is really a lot of work. I don’t know how many entries they receive each year, but narrowing it down to twelve and then picking out one as the best would be an impossible task. Each one is a winner and the reader and the science fiction community are the winners as well because we have a new group of people to add to our reading lists.

My favorites are as varied as the topics. “Living Rooms” by Laurie Tom takes the ideas that rooms have their own personalities and home is where the heart is to a new level. Lael Salaets’ “The Black Side of Memory” gives a future look at PTSD and how the government handles it and what it wants to hide. “Not in the Flesh” by Adam Colston reminds me a bit of BLADERUNNER with a twist. Simon Cooper’s “Confliction” is a medical tale of black market organs and nanotechnology.

Other stories by Scott W Baker, K.C. Ball and Jason Fischer are standouts as well. There is something here for everyone and there is plenty here to give you extremely good value for your hard earned buck. Start out your harvest season with this cornucopia of great reading.

THE EXILE, An Outlander Graphic Novel, Diana Gabaldon, Illustrated by Hoang Nguyen, Del Rey, $25, ISBN: 9780345505385, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

If you are one of those millions of readers who have followed Galbaldon’s OUTLANDER saga over the last few years, you are in for a treat. If you are not one of those millions, here is a starting point to get involved in a multi-faceted time traveling historic adventure.

Jamie Fraser is an 18th century Scot and Claire Beauchamp Randall is a 20th century woman and a force to be reckoned with. The story presented here takes place before OUTLANDER and gives details not previously known about their meeting and gives a glimpse of what is to come.

I’ll be the first to admit, my memory is foggy on the events of OUTLANDER. This is a good stepping stone to either start (for new readers) or restart your appreciation (for everyone else) of grand storytelling, great characters, and writing.

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